The Doogood Conservatory
We are an international non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free skateboards, surfboards and snowboarding packages to the under-privileged youth of America and beyond.
At risk kids need an outlet. They don't listen, However, they need a mentor and Doogood gives them an opportunity to see if skateboarding, surfing or snowboarding are that silent mentor for them. Board sports give kids an incredible amount of self worth and accomplishment. Boarding keeps them busy, away from the couch, out of gangs and satiated at the end of the day. It gives a lot of these kids a reason to wake up the next day. Don't let them be left out, because their dad is in jail or their mom made some wrong choices.
The Founder of The Doogood Conservatory is Ari Evan Gold. He is a lifelong skateboarder from Tampa , Florida . Even before transplanting to southern California in 2002, Ari started to notice an unfortunate trend: Many kids at public skate parks were borrowing other people's gear because they didn't have access to quality boards that they could learn on.
He started to think, what if he could give skateboards away to kids who didn't have their own? And with this idea, The Doogood Conservatory was born. Inspired, Ari donated his personal skateboard to the Skate park of Tampa (the SPoT) for kids to use. Then Ari contacted the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) association and was generously given free booth space at their September 2002 trade show so that he could gather letters of support for the idea from members of the skate community. Within a month, Blitz Distribution supplied Doogood with 250 new decks. Ari began putting the donated boards in the hands of community centers and organizations, such as the Boys & Girls club, that could distribute them to needy kids. By Christmas of that year, organizations in 10 cities had received donations of 20 boards each, and The Doogood Conservatory was well on its way to becoming an official nonprofit.
Working from this momentum, Ari Evan Gold formulated what would become the heart and soul of Doogood: the Skate Park Program, where donations are made directly to the parks, without the aid of outside charity. With this program, it's basically up to the park owners to monitor how the skateboards are utilized and to whom they're distributed. Every four months, The Doogood Conservatory sends new boards to participating parks, at which point the old stock of community skateboards is given away to the kids who will benefit the most from having their own deck.
Today, the program has full fiscal sponsorship from the Community Center Association of Grass Valley, California. It's currently in effect in 25+ skate parks nationwide, from private facilities such as the SPoT and California 's Simi Valley Skate Lab to lower-key public spots such as the Gilbert Lindsay Skate Park and Hollenbeck Skate Park , both of which are located in low-income/high-crime areas of Los Angeles .
“My skateboard saved my life when I was growing up. This is what I want to relate to these kids. Skateboarding is a self –taught method of survival. All a kid needs to do is jump on a board, and the rest will take care of itself.” Says Ari Evan Gold.
There is huge potential for the organization to reach out and make a difference. The vision is to eventually have The Doogood Conservatory encompass skate, surf, and snow…..Phase One of the project is to open the program at 100 skate parks.